The founder of FTX cryptocurrency exchange, Sam Bankman-Fried, has been charged by US prosecutors with conspiring to bribe Chinese government officials with $40 million worth of payments. The payments were allegedly made to unfreeze accounts belonging to Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund, Alameda Research, which Chinese authorities had frozen. The accounts held over $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency.
The new indictment, unveiled by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, has added to the pressure on Bankman-Fried, who had already pleaded not guilty to eight counts over the collapse of FTX. Prosecutors claim that Bankman-Fried stole billions of dollars in customer funds to cover losses at Alameda.
According to the new indictment, Bankman-Fried authorised a transfer of tens of millions of dollars of additional cryptocurrency to complete the bribe after the accounts were unfrozen. The charge accuses Bankman-Fried of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which makes it illegal for US citizens to bribe foreign government officials to win business.
This raises questions about the lengths to which people will go to get what they want. Bankman-Fried allegedly authorised a transfer of tens of millions of dollars in order to bribe a foreign government official, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. This is a clear example of how far people will go to get what they want.
FTX Bank’s former CEO, who is currently confined to his parents’ Palo Alto, California home on $250 million bond, has denied stealing money but has acknowledged inadequate risk management. He has not yet been arraigned on the new charges.
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